Chicago Foundation for Women announces over $1.1 million in economic security and reproductive justice grants
January 08 2019

South Side Giving Circle awards first grants totaling $33,000

CHICAGO, IL (January 8, 2019) – Today, Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) announced 43 grants totaling $1,114,000 to support economic security and reproductive justice for Chicago-area women and girls. Included in this, the South Side Giving Circle of CFW made its first grants in health, safety and justice for Black women and girls on Chicago’s South Side and south suburbs.

“Chicago Foundation for Women takes a comprehensive approach to women’s economic security,” CFW President/CEO K. Sujata said. “We ensure women and girls have the skills necessary to thrive in today’s economy, as well as support in addressing barriers to employment such as housing insecurity, previous incarceration and access to healthcare.”

“But we know that women do not live and work in a vacuum, so CFW also invests in women-led organizing and advocacy to address the root causes of economic insecurity and to build movements that prioritize reproductive justice,” Sujata added.

29 grants totaling $810,000 were made through the Eleanor Network at CFW. The Eleanor Network creates clear pathways to economic security for women through workforce development training, stabilization services and advocacy for policies that support economic security for working women and their families. The Eleanor Network was created in 2012, following CFW’s strategic alliance with the former Eleanor Foundation.

New grantees supported through the Eleanor Network include Enlace Chicago, Restaurant Opportunities Center of Chicago, and Chinese Mutual Aid Association. Enlace Chicago convenes and mobilizes a network of Spanish-speaking community health workers to create more opportunities and improve access to care in Little Village. Restaurant Opportunities Center of Chicago organizes to improve wages and working conditions for the low-wage restaurant workforce, which is predominantly made up of women, youth and people of color. Chinese Mutual Aid Association provides a mentoring program for young women from low-income immigrant families through the Young Women Warriors program.

Eight grants totaling $270,000 were made through a matching grant from the Catalyst Fund for Reproductive Justice at Groundswell. The Catalyst Fund for Reproductive Justice supports women-of-color-led organizations spearheading grassroots advocacy for reproductive justice, including reproductive and maternal health, parental rights, economic justice and youth leadership development.

Catalyst Fund grantees include Arise Chicago, which organizes low-wage workers and faith leaders for economic and physical security for all workers, and Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force, which works to reduce racial disparities in breast cancer survival for Black women through education and increased access to quality health care.

The South Side Giving Circle, launched in spring 2018, made its first set of investments totaling $33,000 in organizations serving Black women and girls. Giving Circle grantees include Polished Pebbles, a mentoring program empowering girls with effective communication, career and life skills, and the Girls Like Me Project, which empowers young Black girls with the tools to document and share their experiences as independent digital-storytellers.

CFW funds organizations working in the areas of economic security, access to health and information, and freedom from violence. Grants in the areas of health and freedom from violence, as well as grants from five additional Giving Councils and Giving Circles, are made in the spring.

For the complete list of grants awarded for the Fall 2019 cycle, please click here.


About Chicago Foundation for Women: Chicago Foundation for Women invests in women and girls as catalysts, building strong communities for all. CFW funds organizations working to solve the biggest problems facing women and girls: economic insecurity, violence, and access to health care and information. In addition to grantmaking, CFW invests in developing women leaders and advocates, and brings together diverse coalitions to collaborate, share resources and develop solutions.